This week there’s no avoiding the surveillance issue and the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. There are three parts to this story: First, just getting the facts straight. Then, how do we think about this? And then, what can we do? I’ll take my first shot at those questions in “PRISM and Privacy”. (Short version: I’m normally a use-the-ordinary-political-process guy, but this issue might call for monkey-wrenching if we can figure out how.)
Another newsy story is the report the College Republicans put out last Monday about how the GOP can appeal to voters born since 1980 — because eventually all voters will have been born since 1980. I’m not a big fan of the College Republicans, but the insight-to-propaganda ratio in this report is pretty high. (I doubt, though, that they will be able to influence their headstrong elders. And I can’t decide whether I think that’s good or bad.) I’ll summarize in an article called “Smart Kids”.
Those two topical stories have crowded out an article I promised last week: a review of Gar Alperovitz’s new book What They Must We Do? That will have to wait until next week, and I’ll probably also be ready to comment on David Graeber’s The Democracy Project by then.
In the short-notes part of the weekly summary, some articles worth staring into space about. Notably, Ta-Nehisi Coates recalls what a bad high school student he was and tries to imagine a message that would have moved him, and college professor Ben Warner writes about the complex emotions that arose when one of his students emerged as a notorious white supremacist — there’s no hope for converting the intolerant without exposing them to human kindness, but sometimes that feels wrong too.
The College Republican article will appear in the next hour or so, and I hope to have the PRISM article posted by noon (EDT).